Small Dice Challenge: Gigi Edition

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and my family came up from Texas to visit.  My mom, aka Gigi, who I have mentioned before, is a master in the kitchen.  She always kept us well-fed growing up and then some.  I decided to challenge her for this week’s Small Dice.  I chose the following:


  • Organic Dark Sweet Cherries
  • Hellman’s Real Mayo
  • Organic Firm Tofu
  • Pecans my mom brought from Texas (FYI, I grew up on a Pecan farm)

My kids tested the ingredients first to make sure they were good to eat before Gigi started cooking.

Gigi could easily be a contestant on Chopped. As soon as I gave her the ingredients, she started right away without a word.  She is so graceful in the kitchen; the exact opposite of me. She is Cyd Charisse to my Lucille Ball.  Gigi went right away to the pecans.  She mixed them with honey and salt and put them in the oven at 350° degrees.  They were in there for about 10 minutes, but, in hindsight, she said they should’ve been in there for 5 minutes.  Though they were a little toasty, she picked them off of the foil and tried to chop them with the blender.  They were getting too fine though, so she used a knife to cut them up instead and put them aside in a bowl.

Next, Gigi went for the tofu and the mayo.  She coated the tofu with mayo, seasoning, and flour; then fried them.  After getting a lovely tan crust on them, she took them out and sprinkled on some paprika.

I do wish Gigi had access to the Chopped kitchen supplies.  She kept asking me for certain things which I didn’t have.

Gigi: “Do you have chicken stock?”

Me: “Nope.”

Gigi: “Garlic salt.”

Me: “Nope.”

Gigi: “Couscous.”


After rolling her eyes at me, she found some quinoa, which I rarely cook, but for some reason, have.  She seasoned it with my spices that may or may not be expired and, threw in some cherries.



On top of everything else, she baked some sweet potatoes that were used in a prior challenge, but didn’t go over well then.  She, also, sauteed some green beans.  When she plated, Gigi laid the tofu, sweet potatoes, and pecans on top of the quinoa.  She added pecans on the green beans, as well.


I was the first to start eating because I was the first in the kitchen and no point in letting it get cold. It was absolutely delicious.  I’m not huge on quinoa, of course, I probably don’t cook it right.  Gigi made them perfectly though.  They weren’t clumpy or dry as I have come to know them.  The tofu was firm and crispy, not at all slimy.  The pecans were the best of all.  They brought everything together and were even good for snacking on later.  My dad and I got seconds of everything.  My daughter was a little harder to please.  She loves green beans, but had a hard time getting started on the tofu and quinoa.  She finished most of it….eventually.  4 stars for Gigi.

Author: HungryEyes

I am a mother of two married to a Pastry Cook. I have worked in restaurants in various positions, but ended up as a teacher. Since having my last child, though, I am a stay-at-home mom trying to survive by cooking from home. I have never been someone who could open the fridge and whip up meals willy-nilly, but have been inspired by watching reruns of Chopped this summer. My post Small Dice is an ode to the show and, also, a challenge to myself to become a better cook and a more efficient mom. In addition, I love movies and music. I will be harassed throughout this blog for my love of Doris Day and Billy Idol, because they will be sure to come up, but I don’t care, it’s nothing new for me.

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